The use of gerontechnology has become increasingly popular in recent years. Through the use of special tools, equipment and home furnishings, frail elderly people with mobility impairments can eat more easily and move around at home or in the community they live more safely. To promote public awareness of gerontech as a solution for ageing in place, the
Jockey Club “age at home” Gerontech Education and Rental Service Centre opened in Link’s Yu Chui Shopping Centre in January 2021, offering gerontech equipment trials, rental services workshops and guided tours.
The Jockey Club’s gerontech centre, which spans more than 7,000 square metres on the mezzanine level of Yu Chui Shopping Centre, features modern showrooms that showcase various gerontech equipment and personal care products such as wheelchairs, portable handrails, assistive devices for moving and lifting, as well as walking aids. Visitors can also find a wheelchairs showroom and several multimedia interactive activity rooms in the centre.
More than 100 pieces of gerontech equipment are on display in the centre, which are made in different countries, including a state-of-the-art electric assistive eating device. Ken Lee, Project Director, Jockey Club "age at home" Gerontech Education and Rental Service, Hong Kong Council of Social Service – said, “Many elderly people think gerontech is high-tech and difficult to manage. In fact, gerontech usually refers to products with multiple functions that are tailor-made for the elderly and easy to operate. Not only that, but many of these products are also stylish and feature trendy colour schemes, making them even more appealing.”
In the centre, occupational therapists, social workers, registered nurses and care equipment counsellors provide professional information on genrontech and consultations for visitors. The bathroom showroom, for instance, features adjustable partitions, with measurements marked on the walls. Occupational therapists can adjust the space based on the size and layout of the flats of visitors or users to assess which equipment is most suitable for their living environment.
Lee said, “Equipment rental charges at the centre are divided into various scales and determined by users’ monthly household income. For example, the monthly rental fee for a wheelchair with special functions ranges from $150 to $750, which includes – among other things – professional assessment at the user’s home, delivery and cleaning services.
“With the co-payment principle, we offer rental services so more patients and carers can benefit from the latest developments in gerontech. For example, some gerontech equipment, such as smart hospital beds with an automatic turning function, can cost $40,000 to $50,000, which is out of reach for many families.”
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